In our ongoing conversation about kindergarten and what program is best for your child, today we discuss class size and how young minds are challenged.
A smaller class size allows for more individual attention, allowing teachers to be more creative and responsive to the needs of each child. Additionally, small classes can foster a more positive learning environment, as children can feel more comfortable to participate and ask questions. With more individual attention, children can gain a better understanding of the material and have more opportunities to practice skills. As a result, students in smaller classes often have higher academic performance and better engagement in the learning process.
Challenging the minds of young students can be done in a multitude of ways. These methods can include independent study, group activities, and hands-on learning. By utilizing these different approaches, students can develop a more comprehensive understanding of the material and how to apply it.
Does your child need more challenging work or thrives on individual attention?
Public school settings, where there are 15 - 30 students per classroom, typically focuses on students who are at the middle of the learning continuum. Usually, the low and high level students do not
receive activities at their level because of the unrealistic expectations placed on a teacher to reach all 30 students. This can lead to low and high level students not receiving the support they need to reach their full potential. It can also lead to boredom for higher level students and frustration for lower level students. This can result in students not performing to their full capabilities, which can result in a lower overall academic performance. Furthermore, it can create an atmosphere of inequality in the classroom, which can further discourage students from achieving their best.
Your child may benefit from a larger classroom if he or she is a self-directed learner and self-motivated. Self-starters are challenged simply by the fact that they aren't reliant on adults for motivation. Similarly, if your child is a typical kindergarten student who functions as most do, this scenario will be a good fit as well. Additionally, larger classroom environments also allow for more peer-to-peer learning opportunities, which can be beneficial for all types of students. This can help build a sense of community and socialization. Finally, having access to more resources and materials can also be advantageous for curious learners.
Our Outdoor Kindergarten might be the right choice if you feel your kindergarten child needs a smaller class size or more individualized instruction.
Our Outdoor Kindergarten class is limited to 8 students. This allows us to provide different levels to reach all of the students in the small class, and therefore challenge your child at his or her level. Our program encourages problem-solving and creative thinking, in addition to physical activities that promote healthy development. We believe that our small class size allows us to provide the highest quality of care and education for your child. Our educators strive to nurture the development of each individual and foster a strong sense of self-confidence.
There are lots of questions and options to consider when choosing the correct placement. Tune in for more discussion in our subsequent blogs.
Schanzenbach, D. W. (2014). Does Class Size Matter? National Education Policy Center Policy Brief. “This policy brief summarizes the academic literature on the impact of class size and finds that class size is an important determinant of a variety of student outcomes, ranging from test scores to broader life outcomes...."
Achilles, C. M., et al. (2012). Class-size Policy: The Star Experiment and Related Class-size Studies. NCPEA Policy Brief, 1.2. “A reanalysis of the Tennessee STAR experiment found that small classes (15-17 pupils) in kindergarten through third grade (K-3) provide short- and long-term benefits for students, teachers, and society at large….poor, minority, and male students reap extra benefits in terms of improved test outcomes, school engagement, and reduced grade retention and dropout rates.”
Bascia, N. (2010). Reducing Class Size: What do we Know?. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Analysis of data collected by the Canadian Ministry of Education between 2003-04 and 2007-08 in eight school districts, 24 schools, and 84 classrooms. Classroom observations were undertaken at grades K-3, along with teacher surveys and parent surveys, the latter from every school district in Ontario. “Nearly three-quarters of the primary teachers reported that the quality of their relationships with students had improved as a result of the smaller class size, and two-thirds said their students were more engaged in learning than before class size reduction…Many parents of children enrolled in smaller classes reported that their children appeared to be learning more and were more comfortable at school.”